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Linking Historical Lives (Linked Lives)

A Database with 160 Years of Life Courses of Brothers and Sisters (1850-2010)

Logo Linked LivesThe project Linking Historical Lives (LHL) involves the creation of a new longitudinal database named Linked Lives.
The project is granted by the Netherlands organization for Scientific research Humanities (Investment Subsidy NWO Medium (filenumber 380-53-005) and is co-financed by VU University Amsterdam, Utrecht University and the International Institute of Social History. The project started in September 2010 and is supervised by Dr. H. Bras and Dr. I. Maas.

With Linked Lives the role of siblings in (changing) patterns of social mobility and demographic behavior will be investigated during the period of demographic transition and industrialization in the Netherlands. How did the life courses of siblings differ as a result of their specific birth position, age and gender in the family? What were the interdependencies among siblings, gauging the impact of siblings on one another's lives? To which extent life chances and demographic behavior were transmitted from parents to children?

The database Linked Lives will contain the life courses of 3.000 pairs of siblings born in the Netherlands between 1850 and 1922, whose lives cover the period of 1850 until today. Point of departure is the Historical Sample of the Netherlands (HSN). The HSN includes data on the migration trajectories, occupational histories, the family of origin, and the religion of individuals. However, the HSN contains only data on the life courses of one person per family. The Linked Lives project involves the collection of similar information on the life courses of 3.000 siblings of the original HSN Research Persons.

With contextual data derived from a.o. the Hub for Aggregated Social History (HASH), Linked Lives will open up new horizons, offering family historians, historical demographers and historical sociologists a facility for large-scale, comparative, and multilevel studies of sibship and socio-demographic behavior in the life course for over a period of 160 years, covering the industrialization and modernization of Dutch society.

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